Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Burning the Chef's Buns
Shifter's Regime: Book Three
Keeping the Peace: When a lion shifter discovers his mate in a belligerent chef, he must find a way to pre-heat their connection.
Seever Kerns has spent the last fifty plus years as his best friend's subordinate, even though his lion is far more powerful. When he meets Reese Nelson, he realizes the human is his mate and thinks Fate is rewarding his patience. Unfortunately, even though Seever can scent that Reese is attracted to him, the human resists, hiding behind a belligerent facade. Trouble with a rogue shifter soon interrupts his attempts to woo his standoffish mate, and Seever makes a grave mistake. He had assumed that Reese--who was there visiting his cousin, Rocky, a human bonded to a shifter--was aware of shifters and the paranormal world. Reese freaks out, refusing to believe what is right before his eyes. Even Rocky's influence does little to calm him. Can Seever convince Reese that they belong together, or will Reese cut his losses and flee, which would put his human into even more danger?
Excerpt - Burning the Chef's Buns
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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“What the hell is going on, Rocky?” Reese shouted when his cousin had finally finished propelling him into some kind of sitting room. He whirled, swinging his arms wide in frustration as he added, “What the hell did I just see?”
When Rocky hesitated, his brows furrowing and uncertainty filling his expression, Reese took a second to glance around. From the baby toys on the floor, he bet it was part of Rocky’s suite that he’d mentioned weeks before on the phone. His cousin had claimed to be living in a suite of rooms bigger than most apartments.
“Damn it, Rocky! What?”
Resting his hands on his hips, Reese glared at his cousin. Seeing the way the other man hunched his shoulders, clutching Jayden close to his chest, not to mention how Hector clung to his side, rubbing and soothing his arm, Reese’s temper flared. He wanted to know what the fuck was going on around there.
No way did I actually see what I thought I saw.
“At first, considering the level of weird arousal I was feeling, I was sure I’d been slipped some kind of aphrodisiac.” Reese crossed his arms over his chest as he tried to puzzle it out. “Except, then in the kitchen…no.” Reese shook his head. “Definitely a hallucinogen. What the fuck could produce both responses?”
Scowling at his cousin, Reese demanded answers. “Is this what happened to you? You felt shit and saw shit that couldn’t possibly be real?” Deciding that had to be it, he nodded. “Detox. We’ll find a clinic and get our blood drawn so the doctors can help us clear whatever shit they’re giving us out of our system.”
“Will you shut the fuck up for two seconds so I can answer any of the million questions you just asked me?” Rocky barked, clearly frustrated. When Jayden began to fuss, he handed him off to Hector. “We might be loud, baby. Will you take care of him into the bedroom?”
Even as Hector took Rocky’s son, he nodded while saying, “Kitchenette first, though. He hasn’t had anything but his bottle and needs a solid snack.”
Rocky’s expression could only be called adoring as he bent and pecked Hector’s lips. “Thank you so much, my mate.”
As Hector rushed from the room, taking a squirming, whining youngster with him, Reese found his attention snagged on that one word. “Mate? What’s that mean?” Gaping at Rocky, Reese hissed, “Is that how they suck you in? Seever called me that. Said he was going to fuck me and just expected me to go along.”
Spotting the way Rocky’s jaw sagged open, Reese realized what he’d just admitted. His face heated, and he prayed his light-brown cheeks hid that fact. Reese cleared his throat as he tried to remember what else he’d intended to say.
He didn’t get the chance.
Rocky grabbed his upper arm and asked, “Seever called you his mate? When? What exactly did he say?”
Even as Reese struggled to recall the words, he shook his head. “Oh, no. You told me to shut up, so you could answer my questions.” He jerked his arm away, then crossed both over his chest as he frowned up at his cousin. “So?”
Heaving a deep sigh, Rocky rubbed his hand over his bald head. “In the kitchen, remember when Seever mentioned shifters?”
“Good grief.” Reese rolled his eyes. “Yes, I recall.” The pieces suddenly snapped into place in his mind. “Wait a second.” Lifting a hand, he snorted as he shook his head. “You don’t really think what you saw was a man turning into a lion, do you?” Reese barked a laugh upon seeing Rocky’s serious expression while he nodded. “I told you! That’s not possible. We had to have been slipped a hallucinogen or something.” After glancing over his shoulder toward the doorway that Hector had disappeared through, Reese returned his focus to his cousin. “Gather up Hector and Jayden, and we’ll find a nearby clinic.” He shooed with his fingertips. “Hurry. Before any of those security guys get back.”
Rocky shook his head. “It’s not hallucinogens, Reese. There really are paranormals living right here beside the humans. Shifters, vampires, gargoyles, and more.” Scowling, he rested his hands on his hips. “I never really thought you had such a crazy imagination.”
Rearing his head back in surprise, Reese took a step backward. His heartbeat spiked in his chest, and his breathing accelerated. Sweat broke out on his skin, and he rubbed at his temple.
“I-I’m not the one with the imagination,” Reese mumbled, shaking his head again. “You’re…they—”
“Slow your breathing, Reese,” Rocky urged. In the next instant, he rounded Reese and rested his huge hands on his shoulders. As Rocky massaged Reese’s shoulders, his touch was gentle. “Inhale deeply, Reese. Come on, man. Focus.”
Reese tried, but black spots began to dance across his vision. He swayed and couldn’t stop it when he found himself being eased onto a sofa. His head pounded, and someone pushed his head between his knees.
“Keep breathing, Reese.” Rocky’s deep voice barely penetrated the fog surrounding Reese’s mind. “Be right back.”
Then the hand on the back of Reese’s neck disappeared. The desire to pop up, find the nearest door, and run away from all the craziness pulsed through him. Except, when he tried to stand, his legs shook.
“Hey, you’re okay, Reese.” Seever appeared before him. He wore only a pair of sweatpants, putting his broad, gorgeous chest on display. “Just sit back down, my mate. Everything will sort itself soon enough. You’ve just had a shock.”
Reese found himself staring, his focus riveted on the tan nubs surrounded by a dusky-skinned areola. His mouth watered, and he licked his lips. Even as Reese obeyed the press of Seever’s fingers and eased back onto the sofa cushion, he felt his blood heat in his veins. His prick once again thickened just from Seever’s presence.
“Well, that scent is definitely better than panic.” Seever knelt before Reese and cradled his jaw in one hand. “Meet my gaze, Reese.”
Once again, Reese obeyed the gentle press of Seever’s hand, and he met the man’s gaze. He spotted the smile straight away and admired the sensual curve of his lips. Reese found himself attempting to lean forward, wanting to taste them—so plump and perfect.
“Reese, babe,” Seever murmured, his voice husky. “As much as I want to do all the things your scent and hungry expression are calling me to do, I think you need to accept facts first.”
Reese blinked, then jerked backward, pulling his face from Seever’s grip. Lifting his hand, he placed it on the man’s shoulder and pushed. As soon as the big, sexy, dark-haired man toppled onto his butt, Reese leaped to his feet and bolted toward the door.